Maribyrnong Council could go it alone in introducing 40 km/h speed limit on local roads.
An officer’s report to be considered at Tuesday night’s council meeting proposes rolling out the reduced limits across residential streets in response to community concerns about safety.
The ‘Safer Local Roads’ report flags the changes in response to feedback that residents feel unsafe to walk and cycle in their local roads due to high vehicular speeds.
The report notes the changes would cost more than $540,000 for new signage and line marking and up to $18 million if accompanied by Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) physical treatments such as speed bumps and widened pedestrian islands.
It suggests that lower speed limits will reduce the risk of injury or fatality and encourage more people to walk and ride.
Under the proposal, a reduction of the 60km/hr speed limit to 50km/hr would also be sought on stretches of arterial roads including Ballarat Road, Gordon Street, Churchill Avenue, Williamstown Road and Whitehall Road.
The plan has the backing of Maribyrnong mayor Catherine Cumming, who noted the 2016 Annual Community Survey Report in which 76.5 per cent of residents indicated being “dissatisfied with the speed of traffic on local roads and considered that the speed was too fast”.
The reduced speed limit would be rolled out in seven staged areas, starting with central Footscray, then Seddon and Yarraville, then Kingsville and more of Yarraville, followed by the northern end of West Footscray, Maidstone and Braybrook, then Maribyrnong and the rest of Footscray and Braybrook, finishing with lower West Footscray and Tottenham.
The report suggests the proposed implementation of 40 km/h speed limits in Maribyrnong will enhance local amenity, encourage motorists to slow down, increase active transport uptake and reduce road trauma.
“The benefits for the proposed introduction of 40km/h speed limit within Council’s municipal boundaries, in terms of road safety and reduction in crashes are well established and aligned with community’s views and expectations,” it states.
“It is proposed that the implementation of the 40 km/h speed limit be staged over the seven areas and funded as part of Council’s Capital Works Program.
“It is also recommended that Council write to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety seeking changes to the default speed limit on urban roads to 40 km/h.”